The most powerful Levante is a fitting cap on top of a successful product

When Maserati first announced plans to build an SUV back in 2011, not many people took the company seriously. It didn’t help the Italian automaker’s cause when it took five years for the production model to arrive. As it turns out, all that waiting was for a reason. The Levante not only proved to be a popular model — over 10,000 units sold worldwide in 2017 — it also paved the way for the Levante Trofeo to get showcased at the 2018 New York Auto Show. From ambitious beginnings to a full-fledged, Ferrari-powered range-topper, Maserati apparently knew what it was doing all along.

The Levante Trofeo Proves That Maserati Knew What it Was Doing When It Ventured into the SUV Market Exterior
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The Levante had a huge impact on that, accounting for over 11,000 units sold in the U.S. and Europe alone.

Maserati deserves a lot of credit for taking this leap. At the time of the Kubang Concept’s unveiling in 2011, there weren’t a lot of premium automakers that were leaning heavily in developing an SUV. Sure, Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, and Audi already had theirs, but companies like Jaguar, Alfa Romeo, Lamborghini, Bentley, and Rolls-Royce were still a few years away from smelling the SUV roses. In some ways, Maserati had a hand in jump-starting the sudden uptick in premium crossovers and SUVs.

It took five years, but the company eventually launched the Levante in 2016. Since then, the model has performed better than all of our expectations. In more ways than one too. Very few people expected it to be good, and yet it’s received rave reviews since it arrived in 2016. More importantly, it’s been a sales success for Maserati, to the extent that the Italian automaker to double its global sales volume in just one year. The Levante had a huge impact on that, accounting for over 11,000 units sold in the U.S. and Europe alone. If that isn’t impressive, I don’t know what it is.

The Levante Trofeo Proves That Maserati Knew What it Was Doing When It Ventured into the SUV Market Exterior
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The V-8 engine produces a staggering 590 horsepower and 538 pound-feet of torque, or 156 horsepower per liter as Maserati proudly claims

The SUV’s success inevitably gave birth to the Levante Trofeo, a juiced-up version of the Maserati SUV that’s been described as having the “highest output per liter of any Maserati powerplant ever produced.” Of course, that “powerplant” actually comes from Ferrari, but who’s really paying attention to that. What’s important is the 3.8-liter, biturbo, V-8 engine that produces a staggering 590 horsepower and 538 pound-feet of torque, or 156 horsepower per liter as Maserati proudly claims. All that translates to an acceleration time of just 3.9 seconds from 0 to 62 mph and a top speed of 186 mph.

Compare that to the standard Levante, and you’re looking at an extra 160 horsepower and 110 pound-feet of twist for the Trofeo. That kind of extra power translates into its performance time as the range-topping Levante is faster to 62 mph by an incredible 1.2 seconds and has a top speed that’s 22 mph faster than the standard model.

The Levante Trofeo Proves That Maserati Knew What it Was Doing When It Ventured into the SUV Market Exterior
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Compare that to the standard Levante, and you’re looking at an extra 160 horsepower and 110 pound-feet of twist for the Trofeo.

For those who were skeptical of the Levante when it was being developed — I count myself in this group — the Levante Trofeo is living proof that, more often than not, automakers know exactly what they’re getting into.

References

The Levante Trofeo Proves That Maserati Knew What it Was Doing When It Ventured into the SUV Market Exterior
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Maserati Levante Trofeo grabs Porsche Cayenne Turbo by the throat with V-8 engine

2018 Maserati Levante GTS Exterior Exclusive Renderings
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Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Maserati Levante GTS.

2016 Maserati Levante High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2016 Maserati Levante.

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Read more New York Auto Show news.

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Read more Maserati news.

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